How To Get Paid for a Sleep Study

How to get paid for sleep studies

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The digitalization of business has significantly changed the landscape of work. “Dream jobs” are becoming increasingly accessible.

We have people playing video games for a living. I even know people who just live for a living by capturing their daily chores on camera. It really is an amazing era to be in.

However, have you ever heard of sleeping for a living? I know. When I heard all about it, I was completely doubtful myself.

But if you know me, you will know that I sure won’t pass on any potential income opportunity, especially one that only involves napping. So I had to really explore it. I researched this topic far and wide, spoke to a few doctors and reserach specialists and wanted to share all of my findings on this interesting gig.

If you’re interested in earning as much as a five-figure check just for sleeping (or even failing to), then don’t worry. I’ll share with you everything I know about how to get paid for sleep study in this quick guide.

How Do Paid Sleep Studies Work?

According to the latest statistics, 70 million adults in the United States are experiencing some sort of sleep disorder. Many of us suffer poor sleep quality, bad sleep habits and sleep apnea. Hence, there’s also understandably a pressing need for learning more about the causes and potential solutions for this serious health crisis.

This is where polysomnography comes in. It is the more formal term that basically refers to a sleep study. It is usually done for two reasons.

Polysomnography helps diagnose an existing sleep issue more accurately or gain more insight into sleep itself.

There’s also a procedure called multiple sleep latency testing. This is usually performed a day after the main polysomnography session.

Its main objective is to collect data on one’s sleep patterns over the course of five naps scheduled two hours apart.

Finally, sleep studies also sometimes involve using equipment that you can take home with you for a certain number of nights. That depends on how much data needs to be collected for an accurate diagnosis or a particular area of study.

If that’s the case, don’t worry if you don’t know how to operate the machine. Your doctor or the researcher will give you detailed instructions on using it, including setting up the device and where to place the sensors.

Mattress companies might also conduct sleep studies to have their products evaluated. They invite mattress testers. These sleep studies are more rare and usually involve you for shorter duration.

Can You Get Paid by Participating in a Sleep Study?

Yes, you certainly can.

How much do you get paid for a sleep study?

The short answer is that it depends on type and length of study but as a room of thumb you will earn between $700 to $1200 for each day of the study. So if you participate in a 4 night sleep study, expect to earn anywhere from $2800 to $4,800

Some of the people I talked to have scored a five-figure check by working with different apnea studies within three months.

Other factors will also affect how much your income is going to be. The biggest factor is what kind of sleep problems you exhibit. If it’s just occasional trouble falling asleep it’s fairly common and the payout will reflect it. If you have certain sleep apnea, that might be more difficult for researches to hire for, hence the higher reward and longer study.

Also certain cities and states have more sleep institutes than others that can significantly increase your chances of earning.

What’s in It for Them?

As I said, there’s an increasing need to learn more about sleep with the growing number of people suffering from sleep disorders.

These research companies can substantially earn by sharing their data with other medical institutions, sleep experts, and even pharmaceutical companies.

I also have to be honest. While it sounds great right off the bat to think that you’ll “just be sleeping” to earn an income, it’s actually not as simple as you might expect.

There’s a huge difference between sleeping on your own bed and finding sleep in a facility with all that equipment and the awareness that other people will be observing you as you do so.

Hence, it might not be extra cash for nothing. It will require a bit of work.

What To Expect During a Sleep Study

Speaking of expectations, here are some of the things that you can expect to happen during a sleep study session:

You’re Going To Be In a Controlled Environment

Many of these studies take place in the sleep center. Of course, the researchers will be closely observing you, but they won’t actually be in the same room as you. Most likely, you will be asked to sleep in a separate, windowless room.

Why windowless? That’s because lighting plays a role in our sleep, so the researchers usually want to control that as they see fit.

A Sleep Study Takes Multiple Sessions To Complete

If you think that it’s going to be a one night thing, you might be disappointed. Many of the studies take five days and other are stretched out over a month. It doesn’t mean that you will need to sleep every night at the facility, but many of the studies ask you to keep a sleep log, take certain equipment home etc.

You will thoroughly examined

Researches will want to learn more about sleep habits. Think about answering questions such as: how you usually fall asleep, what are your nap habits, what is your typical sleep schedule and questions about any sleep products you might take (melatonin, valerian, etc)

Expect to have a psychological exam and a physical exam. They will want to know if you are okay with isolation and a physical exam will likely involve blood and urine samples.

There Might Be Sleeping Positions and Challenges Required at Times

Be sure to learn everything they require from you before signing up for anything.

For instance, I’ve seen a sleep study that involved just sitting and trying to stay awake on a couch under low lighting for a long period of time. Not my dream job.

I’ve also heard of studies where the participants were required to keep a constant posture during a session.

So just with like anything out there, read the fine print before you sign on the dotted light in an attempt to make some quick cash.

There Might Be Needles and the Use of Medical Equipment Involved

Some clinical trials participants might be required to endure an IV a few times during a paid sleep study.

Most of the time, though, only the use of certain medical devices is involved. They will attach electrodes to my head, which is absolutely painless, and leave me to do my thing.

Tips on How To Earn More From a Sleep Study

Want to know more about how to get paid for a sleep study? Then here are a few tips:

Just Be Honest

Answer the questions as truthfully as you can. Don’t tailor your answers according to what you think they’re going to like.

Many sleep studies are geared towards a specific target demographic, so who knows? You might actually lose your shot if you try to put up a “front”.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

Sleep studies pay more when you actually complete them and provide researches with lots of data. Otherwise, you’re only going to get paid on an hourly or daily basis.

Choose Your Studies Wisely

It’s great to sign up for quick sessions when you’re just starting out.

However, you should also keep in mind that there is a required waiting period of at least three months between studies before you can participate in the next one.

Where To Find Sleep Studies

Sleep studies are becoming more and more popular than just a couple of decades ago. That said, they can still be pretty hard to find if you don’t know where to look.

Hence, here are a few places to get you started:

Online Portals

The easiest way to find a sleep study that you can participate in is through online portals. These websites seek to become a bridge between researchers and interested participants. I have two go-to’s.

First is the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. They promote sleep initiatives to willing participants from their website.

american academy of sleep screenshot

Second, I also make sure to check out ClinicalTrials.Gov. And since I’m there, I also try to explore other medical-related opportunities available.

sleep studies recruiting listing

Sleep Centers

This will depend on your location. Given the rising demand for sleep relief and research, most cities already have a few.

You may visit them directly or find out if they have a website, email, or phone number where you’ll be able to contact them as well.

Most sleep centers also advertise their sleep studies online via their social media accounts from time to time, so it wouldn’t hurt to follow or subscribe to them.

Universities and Other Medical Academic Institutions

There are times when universities and other related academic institutions need research participants. In my experience, they usually don’t pay as much compared to sleep centers.

Still, in the end, most of them will adequately compensate you for your time and efforts. I also find working with students more enjoyable.

These establishments usually post their research opportunities on their main bulletin boards and other community centers in the area. It also wouldn’t hurt to ask around.


Finally, I have stumbled upon such opportunities a few times through friends in the sampling and research community.

If you haven’t yet, it’s definitely a good idea to join online forums and groups where fellow samplers congregate. Or better yet, you can subscribe to my newsletter for various income and sampling opportunity updates.

I am always looking for exclusive deals to share with my loyal patrons.

How To Prepare for a Sleep Study

Getting ready for your first sleep study? Here are some more tips to keep in mind:

Help Make the Results as Accurate as Possible

Don’t nap beforehand. Avoid caffeine. Don’t consume any alcohol, sedatives, or other substances that can affect your sleep unless requested otherwise.

Finally, refrain from using any hair or skin product that can get in the way of the gear your researchers will require.

Arrive Early

The researchers will give you enough time to relax and settle down, but it would still help to show up on time, if not earlier.

Bring Your Sleep Essentials With You

There are a lot of sleep studies that will require you to stay the night, so don’t forget to bring your grooming essentials, your favorite PJs, a book, and a fresh change of clothes for the next day.

Is Participating in a Sleep Study Worth It?

Yes, it is. I’m always up for exploring new ways to earn passive income. That said, because of the waiting period and length of studies, I can’t say that it’s enough to live off solely from participating in sleep studies.

In the end, I just hope that my quick guide on how to get paid for a sleep study can help you learn a little bit more about the process instead of just diving into it clueless, like how it was for me all those years ago.

Lastly, if you’re looking for more income opportunities like this or even receiving free sample products, please don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter for the latest updates.

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